Author Topic: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?  (Read 716 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« on: December 29, 2013, 05:16:52 PM »
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/12/are-americans-becoming-more-socially-conservative.php

Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?

Rasmussen Reports says we are:

   
Quote
Fewer voters now identify themselves as “socially liberal” than they have in the past.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 29% of Likely U.S. Voters now consider themselves liberal on social issues such as abortion, public prayer and church-state topics. That’s the lowest number of self-identified social liberals since early last year. Just as many (30%) consider themselves moderate on such issues, the highest since October 2012, while 37% say they are conservative, up four points from September.


The wording of the question, however, may not have captured what most people think of as the social issues:

   
Quote
When it comes to social issues like abortion, public prayer, and Church-state topics, are you politically conservative, moderate, or liberal?


No mention of gay marriage, which has been the dominant social issue of the past few years. Still, these results certainly suggest that there is no reason to think that social conservatism is dragging down the conservative movement generally; on the contrary.
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Online Oceander

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 11:58:18 PM »
There is a significant flaw (actually, there are many) in this survey:  being socially liberal is frequently thought of as being "out there" - as actively promoting alternative social behavior; however, the opposite of that - not being "out there" and not actively promoting some alternative lifestyle - is not necessarily social conservativism; it could just as easily be classical liberalism - as in, it's none of your damned business and I'd prefer it if everyone else kept their private business private.

An easy example is that of the Log Cabin Republican's reaction to the steamy, stereotyped Obamacare ads pandering to gays:  they don't want any of it because it pushes the image of all gay men as sex-crazed nutjobs who want to let it all hang out in public, and that simply is not so.  Based on that, one would have to say that the Log Cabin Republicans are not exactly the most socially liberal of people; however, they're a far cry from being social conservatives simply because they reject the social liberalism implicit in those ads.

Furthermore, what matters is not so much one's social views, but whether one feels entitled to use the coercive power of the government to impose one's own social views on others without their consent.  And quite frankly, way too many social conservatives end up claiming to want to do precisely that, especially when it comes to the federal government (which matters because there is simply no logical way to rationalize the view that the Constitution gives Congress the power to interfere broadly in social issues).  Doing that not only makes you a hypocrite when it comes to criticizing liberals for acting outside the bounds of the Constitution, it also drives away a lot of people whose support - and votes - one desperately needs.

The Log Cabin Republicans are a perfect case in point.  When a social conservative politician start frothing at the mouth about "bleep" and "bleep" and how they would do anything at all to stop "gay marriage" if elected to federal office, then any member of the LCR would be absolutely justified in outright rejecting that person because of the clearly implied, if not outright expressed, threat to use the coercive power of the federal government to destroy that person's private life, no matter how far out of the public eye they kept it.  And that's an extremely stupid thing to do because the LCR definitely value the core American principles of individual liberty and free market economics and are - or would be - valuable allies in combatting, and defeating, the statist collectivism the democrats/liberals want to shackle everyone with.

Basically, one of the big problems with many social conservatives is that they give only lip service to the fundamental value of individual liberty and freedom while all the time threatening to use the coercive force of the government to undermine and destroy the liberty and freedom of those whose private lives they, the social conservatives, find abhorrent.

Until and unless social conservatives can start giving more than lip service to the values of individual liberty and freedom, they will continue to be more of a burden than a benefit to the GOP.

Offline olde north church

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 06:13:54 AM »
as a culture, "evolves", what was once liberal, becomes more mainstream, thus "conservative".
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline rustynail

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 07:25:34 AM »
Compared to Caligula?

Offline aligncare

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 08:50:27 AM »
There is a significant flaw (actually, there are many) in this survey:  being socially liberal is frequently thought of as being ...

... snip ...

Until and unless social conservatives can start giving more than lip service to the values of individual liberty and freedom, they will continue to be more of a burden than a benefit to the GOP.

Great post! Total agreement. Highlights your libertarian bent.

Conservatives and libertarians have to settle our differences on social issues, among a few others, if we ever hope to be in a position to roll back progressive government. Or, we could just suffer silently top-down erosion of liberty as Democrats and Republicans continue to micromanage our lives. Libertarian, conservative or independent – the choice is ours to make.
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Offline massadvj

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 09:28:03 AM »
There is a significant flaw (actually, there are many) in this survey:  being socially liberal is frequently thought of as being "out there" - as actively promoting alternative social behavior; however, the opposite of that - not being "out there" and not actively promoting some alternative lifestyle - is not necessarily social conservativism; it could just as easily be classical liberalism - as in, it's none of your damned business and I'd prefer it if everyone else kept their private business private.

An easy example is that of the Log Cabin Republican's reaction to the steamy, stereotyped Obamacare ads pandering to gays:  they don't want any of it because it pushes the image of all gay men as sex-crazed nutjobs who want to let it all hang out in public, and that simply is not so.  Based on that, one would have to say that the Log Cabin Republicans are not exactly the most socially liberal of people; however, they're a far cry from being social conservatives simply because they reject the social liberalism implicit in those ads.

Furthermore, what matters is not so much one's social views, but whether one feels entitled to use the coercive power of the government to impose one's own social views on others without their consent.  And quite frankly, way too many social conservatives end up claiming to want to do precisely that, especially when it comes to the federal government (which matters because there is simply no logical way to rationalize the view that the Constitution gives Congress the power to interfere broadly in social issues).  Doing that not only makes you a hypocrite when it comes to criticizing liberals for acting outside the bounds of the Constitution, it also drives away a lot of people whose support - and votes - one desperately needs.

The Log Cabin Republicans are a perfect case in point.  When a social conservative politician start frothing at the mouth about "bleep" and "bleep" and how they would do anything at all to stop "gay marriage" if elected to federal office, then any member of the LCR would be absolutely justified in outright rejecting that person because of the clearly implied, if not outright expressed, threat to use the coercive power of the federal government to destroy that person's private life, no matter how far out of the public eye they kept it.  And that's an extremely stupid thing to do because the LCR definitely value the core American principles of individual liberty and free market economics and are - or would be - valuable allies in combatting, and defeating, the statist collectivism the democrats/liberals want to shackle everyone with.

Basically, one of the big problems with many social conservatives is that they give only lip service to the fundamental value of individual liberty and freedom while all the time threatening to use the coercive force of the government to undermine and destroy the liberty and freedom of those whose private lives they, the social conservatives, find abhorrent.

Until and unless social conservatives can start giving more than lip service to the values of individual liberty and freedom, they will continue to be more of a burden than a benefit to the GOP.

 goopo

I'm not sure I agree with the last sentence, however.  I am not yet convinced there are more potential log cabin, metrosexual, working mom moderates out there for Republicans than the 30 million evangelicals that would be lost by the party turning its back on them.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 09:30:58 AM by massadvj »
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Offline musiclady

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 09:47:18 AM »
Great post! Total agreement. Highlights your libertarian bent.

Conservatives and libertarians have to settle our differences on social issues, among a few others, if we ever hope to be in a position to roll back progressive government. Or, we could just suffer silently top-down erosion of liberty as Democrats and Republicans continue to micromanage our lives. Libertarian, conservative or independent – the choice is ours to make.

The problem with that is, that on the topic of abortion, there is no way that someone who understands that millions of babies are being killed every year can 'compromise' with someone who doesn't care, and refuses to even call the baby being killed a baby.

I don't know what can be done about it in terms of party unity, but there cannot be compromise between conservative pro-lifers and libertarians, who don't think we, as a party, should be openly opposed to the holocaust going on.
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Offline massadvj

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 09:58:46 AM »
The problem with that is, that on the topic of abortion, there is no way that someone who understands that millions of babies are being killed every year can 'compromise' with someone who doesn't care, and refuses to even call the baby being killed a baby.

I don't know what can be done about it in terms of party unity, but there cannot be compromise between conservative pro-lifers and libertarians, who don't think we, as a party, should be openly opposed to the holocaust going on.

In the political discourse, the conversation continues to be about "choice."  But in reality, the actual policy on abortion has gone way beyond the right to choose.  It is about public funding for anyone who wants an abortion.  Most Republicans who claim to be "pro-choice" also support abortion on demand, which should be anathema to any right-thinking libertarian.

Personally, I think Republicans would be better off shifting the argument away from "choice vs life" to the morality of taking a conscientious objector's money to pay for someone else's abortion.  There is a very clear majority opposed, yet policy continues to march in that direction.
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Offline olde north church

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 10:06:01 AM »
The problem with that is, that on the topic of abortion, there is no way that someone who understands that millions of babies are being killed every year can 'compromise' with someone who doesn't care, and refuses to even call the baby being killed a baby.

I don't know what can be done about it in terms of party unity, but there cannot be compromise between conservative pro-lifers and libertarians, who don't think we, as a party, should be openly opposed to the holocaust going on.

Most abortions are performed on minority women, killing minority babies.  Babies who would grow up and become replacements in the poverty stricken underclass.  People who, for all intents and purposes, don't possess the motivation to step outside the bed they have sh!t in.  I'm supposed to care why?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 10:06:26 AM by olde north church »
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline olde north church

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 10:10:50 AM »
Most abortions are performed on minority women, killing minority babies.  Babies who would grow up and become replacements in the poverty stricken underclass.  People who, for all intents and purposes, don't possess the motivation to step outside the bed they have sh!t in.  I'm supposed to care why?

To take it further, most are the consequence of someone who is too lazy to run to the corner to buy a rubber or doesn't like the way they feel.  This is the parent class.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline musiclady

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2013, 10:24:04 AM »
In the political discourse, the conversation continues to be about "choice."  But in reality, the actual policy on abortion has gone way beyond the right to choose.  It is about public funding for anyone who wants an abortion.  Most Republicans who claim to be "pro-choice" also support abortion on demand, which should be anathema to any right-thinking libertarian.

Personally, I think Republicans would be better off shifting the argument away from "choice vs life" to the morality of taking a conscientious objector's money to pay for someone else's abortion.  There is a very clear majority opposed, yet policy continues to march in that direction.

After forty years of dealing with the left's usurpation of the language and calling it "choice" it would be an uphill battle to change the argument away from the term "life."............but I see your point.

I don't believe the argument, however, should be shifted from the choice/life terminology (other than to say it has NEVER been about "choice" only death).  But I do believe far more needs to be said about the theft of objectors' funds to pay for the murder of the unborn.

Parts of my family are on the edge of civil disobedience because our tax dollars are being used to take innocent lives.  I strongly believe the case needs to be made by the GOP that any federal funding of abortion is not only theft, but theft for the sake of what is morally abhorrent to the majority of Americans.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2013, 10:24:27 AM »
There is a significant flaw (actually, there are many) in this survey:  being socially liberal is frequently thought of as being "out there" - as actively promoting alternative social behavior; however, the opposite of that - not being "out there" and not actively promoting some alternative lifestyle - is not necessarily social conservativism; it could just as easily be classical liberalism - as in, it's none of your damned business and I'd prefer it if everyone else kept their private business private.

An easy example is that of the Log Cabin Republican's reaction to the steamy, stereotyped Obamacare ads pandering to gays:  they don't want any of it because it pushes the image of all gay men as sex-crazed nutjobs who want to let it all hang out in public, and that simply is not so.  Based on that, one would have to say that the Log Cabin Republicans are not exactly the most socially liberal of people; however, they're a far cry from being social conservatives simply because they reject the social liberalism implicit in those ads.

Furthermore, what matters is not so much one's social views, but whether one feels entitled to use the coercive power of the government to impose one's own social views on others without their consent.  And quite frankly, way too many social conservatives end up claiming to want to do precisely that, especially when it comes to the federal government (which matters because there is simply no logical way to rationalize the view that the Constitution gives Congress the power to interfere broadly in social issues).  Doing that not only makes you a hypocrite when it comes to criticizing liberals for acting outside the bounds of the Constitution, it also drives away a lot of people whose support - and votes - one desperately needs.

The Log Cabin Republicans are a perfect case in point.  When a social conservative politician start frothing at the mouth about "bleep" and "bleep" and how they would do anything at all to stop "gay marriage" if elected to federal office, then any member of the LCR would be absolutely justified in outright rejecting that person because of the clearly implied, if not outright expressed, threat to use the coercive power of the federal government to destroy that person's private life, no matter how far out of the public eye they kept it.  And that's an extremely stupid thing to do because the LCR definitely value the core American principles of individual liberty and free market economics and are - or would be - valuable allies in combatting, and defeating, the statist collectivism the democrats/liberals want to shackle everyone with.

Basically, one of the big problems with many social conservatives is that they give only lip service to the fundamental value of individual liberty and freedom while all the time threatening to use the coercive force of the government to undermine and destroy the liberty and freedom of those whose private lives they, the social conservatives, find abhorrent.

Until and unless social conservatives can start giving more than lip service to the values of individual liberty and freedom, they will continue to be more of a burden than a benefit to the GOP.

Come on dude!

If you say all the things that need to be said, what's left for me to say?

 :thumbsup:
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline musiclady

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2013, 10:26:26 AM »
Most abortions are performed on minority women, killing minority babies.  Babies who would grow up and become replacements in the poverty stricken underclass.  People who, for all intents and purposes, don't possess the motivation to step outside the bed they have sh!t in.  I'm supposed to care why?

The fact that the majority of abortions are done on minorities is a direct result of "Progressive" racism and eugenics.

But the fact is that most conservatives are not racists, and if it would be more publicized that abortion is practically speaking, genocide for black children, I believe a lot more people would care a lot more that it was being done.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 10:27:02 AM by musiclady »
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2013, 10:40:27 AM »
goopo

I'm not sure I agree with the last sentence, however.  I am not yet convinced there are more potential log cabin, metrosexual, working mom moderates out there for Republicans than the 30 million evangelicals that would be lost by the party turning its back on them.

Agreed.

Yet the fact that social conservatives have co-opted conservatism to a degree that no "true" conservative can hold libertarian social views, may very well push away a significant number of those voters listed in your post, plus a growing number of people beginning to come around to the idea that less government is better government. Social conservatives are basically religious statists.

The problem (as I see it) is that while those evangelicals by themselves are not enough to win elections in a national scale, they are enough to lose them by staying away from the polls, voting third party, or scaring potential allies away.


“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline olde north church

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2013, 11:02:41 AM »
Agreed.

Yet the fact that social conservatives have co-opted conservatism to a degree that no "true" conservative can hold libertarian social views, may very well push away a significant number of those voters listed in your post, plus a growing number of people beginning to come around to the idea that less government is better government. Social conservatives are basically religious statists.

The problem (as I see it) is that while those evangelicals by themselves are not enough to win elections in a national scale, they are enough to lose them by staying away from the polls, voting third party, or scaring potential allies away.

well stated
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2013, 11:05:16 AM »
as a culture, "evolves", what was once liberal, becomes more mainstream, thus "conservative".

Yep.

Conservatives stand firm on traditional marriage, but the definition of traditional marriage seems to have evolved quite a bit over the last few decades. so as the concept of what constitutes "traditional marriage" evolved and became more liberal over time, people who now accept a more liberal concept of traditional marriage will consider themselves conservative on the subject.

No-fault divorce, multiple marriages over a lifetime, cohabitation and more are all part of the negative, even destructive changes to what has always been described as traditional marriage (one man, one woman for life has been replaced for one man, one woman at a time), yet social conservatives are not "defending" marriage from those things. They are instead defending marriage from people who want to enter into it.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Are Americans Becoming More Socially Conservative?
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2013, 11:07:06 AM »
In the political discourse, the conversation continues to be about "choice."  But in reality, the actual policy on abortion has gone way beyond the right to choose.  It is about public funding for anyone who wants an abortion.  Most Republicans who claim to be "pro-choice" also support abortion on demand, which should be anathema to any right-thinking libertarian.

Personally, I think Republicans would be better off shifting the argument away from "choice vs life" to the morality of taking a conscientious objector's money to pay for someone else's abortion.  There is a very clear majority opposed, yet policy continues to march in that direction.

Agreed.

Make the social issue a fiscal issue and it makes for a more manageable debate.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).


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